Another day, another problem – and as the advice bureau’s postbag was starting to fill up once more we really thought it was time to put aside such fripperies as featured tracks and album reviews and concentrate on what really matters: addressing the endless angst, emotional turmoil and vague queries about the weather that music sometimes throws up and sometimes is capable of answering. Our clients today had sent along one representative, the songwriter who posed the question and supplied one of the vocals asking the question. So it was Lee Hazlewood who settled himself into a chair and ostentatiously placed his cowboy-booted feet on the desktop, before growling with a genuine desire for an explanation “how come the city never sleeps at night?”
A simple enough question which caused a huddle of the available advisors. What was more significant – the economic motives for 24hour consumerism, the impact of fractured social bonds leading to non-normative societal interactions, the cultural drives that make certain activities enjoyable after dark which seem less significant in daylight? Or could it be the drive to avoid the ever-present shadow mortality which pushes city life, in particular, to continue at a hectic pace in the belief that if one is doing something then the final fate can be avoided? We actually hadn’t come to a final decision when, as so often seems to be the way, the brasher element of the advice panel declared the solution to lie in that last quarter and delivered a verdict back to our client. Summing things up succinctly Agony Uncle Warren Zevon averred “So much to do” before adding I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Hazlewood grimaced and nodded his head – but there was a glint in his eye that told us that we’d hear from him again, for here was a man with many questions.